Article/Publication Details

Are We Prisoners of Our Own Character? (Replies of Kant, Sartre and Mounier)

(Original title: Sme väzňami svojho charakteru? (odpoveď Kanta, Sartra a Mouniera))
Filozofia, 2002, vol. 57, No 5, pp. 307-320.
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Abstract

The paper gives an analysis of the problem of character, which goes beyond the limits of the traditional ethics of virtue and which aims at the resolution of the essential dilemma - namely the role of determinism in the play of human fortune. The author focuses on two important French authors, whose conceptions of character were based on Kantś philosophy and on its criticism at the same time. Whereas Mounier defends the idea that the constitution of character is shaped by the fundamental self-affirmation, Sartreś approach consists in accepting all the consequences of his own thesis of "the existence preceding the essence". In this context a distinctive character exists only as a transcendental meaning of every particular empirical choice. On the other hand, the author tries to show, that the understan_ding of the moral character as a dynamic form of motion oriented towards future does not keep these authors from defending certain essential tenor of a character, by which each particular decision participates in the construction of the overall picture of the concrete human being and his life objectives.

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